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WASHINGTON, April 10, 2006 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) today awarded more than $400,000 for eight projects under the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) Program. The funding will help U.S. exporters address technical barriers that threaten exports of U.S. specialty crops.

The TASC Program, which was established by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, is designed to help open, retain and expand markets for U.S. specialty crops, which include fruits, vegetables, nuts and other horticultural products.

"Increasingly, horticultural items are becoming a more important part of the U.S. agricultural export picture," said FAS Administrator Michael Yost. "In 2005, these products set a record with $15.9 billion in exports, and we expect that number to go even higher in 2006. The TASC program helps our horticultural industry effectively deal with technical trade barriers."

FAS is currently accepting additional applications for fiscal year 2006 funding. The deadline is July 1, 2006. For additional information on the TASC Program or other FAS market development programs, contact the Marketing Operations Staff at (202) 720-4327.

Under the February 2006 application cycle, funding was awarded to:

TASC Funding Recipient



Agricultural Research Service

Promoting U.S.-European Union Biotechnology Research and Regulatory Cooperation


California Cherry Advisory Board Research in Support of a Systems Approach for the Export of Sweet Cherries to Japan


California Department of Food and Agriculture Pest List Development and Internet Tracking System


Ginseng Board of Wisconsin Pesticide Research on Ginseng Root to Overcome Technical Barriers Threatening Exports of U.S. Ginseng to China


Northwest Horticultural Council Transformation of Apple Cull Analysis System to Ensure Market Access of U.S. Fruit for Export


Oregon Sweet Cherry Commission Cherry Leaf Spot Surveys in Hood River and Wasco Counties, Oregon


Regents of the University of California, Riverside Reducing the Level of Bean Thrips on California Navel Oranges Shipped to Australia


North Carolina State University Quick Response Proposal -- Host Status of Eggplant and Pepper to the Plant Pathogen Peronospora tabacina






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